It's time for out latest installment of "As the Celtics Turn", the Celtics soap opera that continues to captivate the basketball world.
A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting that the most recent "stall" in the talks is related to the Celtics insistence that LA takes either Courtney Lee or Jason Terry in the deal.
The C's want the Clips to take one of either Lee or Terry in exchange for SF Caron Butler because Butler's deal expires next summer, while JET is signed through 2015, and Lee through 2016. If Boston ends up dealing KG and one of the two, they will shed their 2014-15 commitments down to just $47 million, allowing them to easily re-sign Avery Bradley and still have money to spend in free agency. However, Blakely reports the Clips aren't interested, at least not yet.
Now it appears the snafu stems around the Clippers not wanting to take back the contract of either Jason Terry or Courtney Lee.
Boston is open to not including Bledsoe, but only if the Clippers accept either Terry or Lee's contracts.
"Still at it" was how someone close to negotiations described the state of matters this afternoon.
Of course, this is all part of negotiation. Boston makes an offer (Bledsoe/Jordan/1st), LA counters (Jordan/1st), Boston counters again (Jordan/1st/Butler while throwing in one of the guards). However, if reports are true, Celtics fans must be concerned as the way it seems to be playing out is that the Clippers have yet to relent on a single thing, while Danny Ainge has already given up on acquiring Eric Bledsoe..the best chip of all from LA. Of course, reports could be wrong. God knows they have been before. But it just doesn't look good when your team has already drastically lowered their offer, while the other team doesn't seem to be budging.
If I'm Danny, I'm taking back the leverage.
Let's take a quick look at the facts:
- Doc Rivers seems to be ready to leave, but the Celtics have him under contract for 3 more seasons. He is one of the best coaches in basketball and a clear upgrade over nearly anyone else available. If the Clippers pass, they will be downgrading at the coaching position.
- Kevin Garnett is still a good player, and his salary ($12 million next year) isn't insanely high. He makes the Clippers much better, and also has MAJOR pull in convincing Chris Paul to stay in LA. The Clippers badly need to make a splash to impress CP3, and KG is that splash.
- The Celtics can easily bring back KG and Pierce for one more season, and be a better team than they would be in 2013-14 if they deal KG. Sure it delays the rebuild by a year, but that's better than simply giving KG/Doc away to the highest bidder, especially when the bid is well below market value.
- In other words, the Clippers have everything to lose (downgrade at coach, downgrade at C, possibly losing CP3), the Celtics on the other hand have very little to lose at the moment (an overpaid Jordan and a late 1st rounder).
Let the Clippers sweat. Hold on to KG and Doc until LA folds, and if they don't, tell them to have fun hiring Brian Shaw, building around DeAndre Jordan, and watching either; A. CP3 leave or B. CP3 stay with an average supporting cast and go out in the first round. All of that just to hold on to Paul's backup? Makes no sense.
Ainge needs to win this deal. Doc and Garnett are two of his only assets, and they must be turned into something tangible. Bledsoe/Jordan/1st is a good haul. Jordan/1st/and dumping Terry or Lee is a decent haul (because of the '14 cap space). Jordan/1st is a terrible haul. Honestly I'd rather let Pierce expire next summer and KG retire and just use the cap space in '14 or '15 than pay DeAndre Jordan $23 million through 2015. If he comes with Bledsoe..things change a bit. But by himself? Insanity.
Speaking of Bledsoe, this is from Sunday, but bears mentioning.
Bill Simmons said on his podcast that one of the reasons LA is so hesitant to include Bledsoe is that "Doc wants to coach him with Chris Paul". Apparently Rivers thinks the tandem can play together and have success, and doesn't want him gone. So much for Doc wanting "both sides to be happy". Of course if Rivers thinks he's going to end up in LA, it makes sense for him to want them to be as strong as possible, unfortunately it also means the C's are basically guaranteed to lose the deal.
This whole situation continues to develop, but today wasn't a great day for the green. Fortunately there is still time for that to change.
P.S. Love how a lot of articles say that both teams want to speed things up so it "doesn't distract people from the NBA finals". Ummm guess what? Celtics fans don't give a crap. They want the team to get the best deal possible, whether it's June 18th or August 27th. I don't care if it gets announced during OT of Game 7, I want the C's to take the leverage back by walking away for a few days, and make the Clips squirm a bit. I certainly don't care about whether or not it hurts LeBron's feelings. Not like people aren't going to watch actual basketball. I can sit in front of my TV while updating twitter, not that hard. --End rant--
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h/t reddit for finding the Simmons bit Michael Dyer 6/18/2013 01:05:00 AM Tweet Edit